Courtiers and Servants at the Palace of Versailles
Peek behind the golden curtain at what life was really like in the Sun King’s opulent court.
Throughout its history, France had over 75 kings, but only three of them lived in Versailles. So why has this palace become the number-one symbol of the French royalty?
Part of the answer has to do with the fact that Louis XIV convinced the French nobles to live with him in the Versailles Palace — where he could keep close watch on them! Once there, the nobles had to follow the famous “etiquette” that Louis XIV set up in the 17thcentury. The etiquette was an elaborate social code that dictated behavior at court. The highly ritualized life at Versailles led to the creation of some bizarre-sounding “small jobs” at court.
But on this “Meet the Locals from the Past tour”, you’ll see why many noblemen would have killed for these positions! Indeed, holding the king’s chamber pot or passing him his nightgown was the best opportunity to ask for favors.
At the start of the tour, you’ll receive a Historical Character Card. It’s your ticket to see what life was like for the nobles who served as the Ear of the king, the Gentleman of the Sleeve, or the Fountaineer! You’ll also see the sumptuous living quarters and gardens where the noble lords and ladies spent their days.
So come with us to learn why commanding the nobility from his bathroom might have been the smartest move of Louis XIV’s career!
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